Captain James Babcock

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ChartsAncestors of Jennie Luene Logan
Franklin Delano Roosevelt - Jennie Luene (Logan) Billings
Captain James Babcock, son of John Babcock and Mary Lawton, was born at Westerly, Washington Co., Rhode Island, about 1663.1 He died at Westerly, 17 January 1736/37.1

James married (1) Elizabeth Saunders, daughter of Tobias Saunders and Mary Peckham, about 1687;1,2 he married (2) Content Maxon, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), at Westerly, 7 July 1731.3,1

Two weeks before his second marriage, James made an agreement with Content, "I ye sd Babcock do hereby covenant with sd Content that on condition shee doth take me as her husband and doth outlive me I do oblige my heirs to pay her within three years after my decease £100 currant Money in Lieu of her right to her thirds.--On these terms Content is willing and satisfied to be married." She did survive her husband, and later married William Hiscox, 22 Dec 1742.4

As eldest son, Captain James Babcock was entitled to all the real estate of his father, but voluntarily gave half of it to his mother, "to have and enjoy and to dispose of as she shall see it meet during the time of her life or after her decease, provided she shall dispose of it unto my father's male children," by a contract dated 26 Jun 1685.

He was made freeman at Westerly, 22 Apr 1686, and granted 100 acres there, 28 Mar 1692. That year he also united with the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Newport and Westerly and remained a member there until the Westerly branch became a separate body in 1708, when he was one of the constituent members of the new church, to which he bequeathed by will £100.

Just before his mother married Erasmus Babbitt, 1 Apr 1698, his brothers Elihu, Robert, Joseph, and Oliver chose him, James, as their guardian in place of their mother.

Before 1690 he was appointed captain of militia at Westerly. He also served as town treasurer for many years, and as town councilman in 1690, 1693, and 1695. He was frequently moderator at town meetings, and was deputy from Westerly to the General Assembly in 1701, 1706 through 1709, and 1716. He was Justice of the Peace in 1717.

In 1698 he deeded land to his brother John, and in 1699 the two of them gave land to their brother Oliver, to be his after the death of their mother. In 1704 James and John again gave land, this time to their mother. In 1715, Rhode Island made some attempt to establish a credit currency, which was to circulate as money without interest to selected citizens. On 10 Oct 1715, James borrowed £300 payable in five years by mortgaging 200 acres. The mortgage was not paid off until after his death by his son Joshua who paid just 20%, £60, on 16 Mar 1739.

He gave three tracts of land to his sister Elizabeth and her husband, Thomas Clarke, who "do acknowledge and except the same in full of our portion of our father's will."5

Captain James Babcock left a will dated 9 January 1736/37 and proved 31 Jan 1736/7, naming
sons, Samuel Babcock, Daniel Babcock, Joshua Babcock, James Babcock (deceased), Jonathan
daughter, Ann
another son James, when "he shall arrive tothe age of five years & put him to school & when he is qualified to Enter ye College then to enter himinto the College there to be Educated until he be commissioned Twice according to Custom & all his school & College larning to be pd, Together with all other necessarys by my sd Exec with sd rents"
Grandsons James & Isaiah Babcock, "son of my son James Dec'd"
Grandson Thomas Clark
Grandson Nathaniel
Grandson in law Davision
Grandson Elias Babcock
Cousin Wm Babcock, son of my brother John
Wife Content all the remaining part of the Homestead in Lieu of the £100 he contracted to give her before they married
Daughter in law Sarah Babcock, widow of James
Grandsons Oliver & Timothy, sons of James
Brother John Babcock
Son in-law Thomas Clark
Grandaughter Grace, daughter of James
The church of Christ in Westerly, £100
Three youngest children, Ann, James & Jonathan
Son Joshua to be Executor

The real estate divided amongst the legatees totaled about 2000 acres. The inventory of personal property was filed 28 Feb 1736/7 and totaled £1563 12s. 5d.
and included:
Wearing apparel: £22
Riding mare, saddle and bridle, hay oats, straw, 18 cows, 6 two-years, 30 yearlings, 9 oxen, 227 sheep, 16 swine, Indian corn, rye, flaxseed, beans, peas, salt, Horse kind £40
flax broke and unbroke, brakes and hatchells [hatchets?], shovels, turkeys and dunghill fowls; carts, rakes, forks, sleds, 2 sliver cans (£27)
Plate, £55
Linen and cotton sheets, table cloths, pillow biers, and towels, £9
bed, trundle bed, candlestick, warming pans, cane, £3
indigo, tobacco pouch,
pepper, thread, sugar, honey, glass bottles, chaffing dishes, steelyards and seals, beeswax, tongs and andirons, case of bottles, books of sundry sorts, £3
106 lbs of swingled flax, £8
logwood, great square bed, high case drawers, glass, etc., 3 hogshead "syder," 2 of "syder beer," 1 of rum, one of molasses, great bottle of metheglin;
negro man and woman "not valuable."6

His gravestone is inscribed,
"Having been in his life of extensive charity and beneficence and not wholly silent therein at his death."7

Family 1

Elizabeth Saunders b. 1662, d. 3 Mar 1730/31
  • James Babcock+1 b. 23 Dec 1688, d. 9 Apr 1731
  • Elizabeth Babcock1 b. 8 Feb 1691
  • Samuel Babcock1 b. 15 Feb 1697
  • Daniel Babcock1 b. 21 Apr 1699
  • Anna Babcock1 b. 29 Nov 1701
  • Sarah Babcock1 b. 13 Dec 1704, d. 13 Dec 1705
  • Joshua Babcock1 b. 17 May 1707

Family 2

Content Maxon b. 28 Jan 1708/9
  • Ann Babcock1 b. 30 Mar 1732
  • Colonel James Babcock1 b. 1 Nov 1734
  • Jonathan Babcock1 b. 11 Oct 1736
This person was last edited on16 Dec 2017


  1. [S641] Stephen Babcock, Babcock Genealogy(New York: Eaton & Mains, 1903), 14-18, further cited as Babcock, Babcock Genealogy.
  2. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 60, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  3. [S602] James N. Arnold, Vital Record of Rhode Island. 1636-1850: First Series: Births, Marriages and Deaths. A Family Register for the People, 21 vols. (Providence, Rhode Island: Narragansett Historical Publishing, 1891-1912), 5:4:6, 45, town record 2:87, further cited as Arnold, Vital Record of Rhode Island.
  4. [S1779] Louis Effingham de Forest, Babcock and Allied Families(New York: de Forest Publishing, 1928), 21, further cited as de Forest, Babcock.
  5. [S1779] De Forest, Babcock, 21-23.
  6. [S641] Babcock, Babcock Genealogy, 547-551.
  7. [S1779] De Forest, Babcock, 21-22.